An inability to access work experience represents the single biggest barrier to finding a job for young people, according to research from Speakers for Schools (@speakrs4schools), the leading social mobility charity founded by Robert Peston.

A YouGov survey commissioned by the charity sought views from more than 2,000 young people, aged 11 to 19 across the UK, asking about their attitudes towards education and employment in a post-Covid environment. The inability to access relevant work experience is revealed as the single biggest barrier to finding a job, with 39% of respondents ranking it as their top concern.

Meanwhile, it also highlights the sheer demand amongst young people to gain experience working with employers, with almost half (47%) ranking work experience and internships as the most valued tool for boosting confidence ahead of starting their career.

Young people feel disillusioned by politicians

Separate YouGov surveys of 100 business leaders and 100 MPs were conducted in parallel to the young person survey, revealing a significant disconnect between the priorities of young people and the views of businesses and politicians.

Over 7 in 10 young people (73%) think politicians have a poor understanding of their needs and aspirations, and over half (52%) think the same of businesses. Yet a staggering 87% of MPs believe they understand them well.

Whereas business leaders share a similar view to young people, ranking work experience as the most important tool for help recover from the impact of Covid-19. Over a third of respondents (37%) rate it more highly than other measures such as summer schools (36%), a longer school day (35%) and personal tutoring (34%). Whereas the majority of MPs believe personal tutoring (65%) is the most effective way to support young people post-Covid.

Rachael Saunders, Education and Policy Director at Speakers for Schools, comments:

“This research highlights a yearn amongst young people for more work experience and a collective recognition of the impact it has on their ability to succeed as they transition out of school and into further education or the world of work. Particularly now as we emerge from a pandemic that has been economically and socially devasting for the younger generation.

“Although business leaders share a similar view, there is clearly a disconnect between the views of politicians and young people. It is time work experience is awarded the same level of recognition by the government. It becomes a central part of its approach to helping young people recover and ensuring it doesn’t impact their future prospects. We stand ready to support the government in delivering these aims.”

Josh Evans (17), an A-levels student from Darlington, comments:

“To truly help young people recover from this time, we need more than a summer school or personal tutoring. We need lots of support that isn’t just academic. For instance, ongoing work experience opportunities, CV training and mental health guidance are equally as important to helping young people leave school or university feeling prepared to find a job.”

A call to action for UK businesses and politicians

Speakers for Schools is calling upon businesses to consider offering more work experience opportunities to young people in a bid to improve their employability and help them recover post-pandemic while building essential talent pipelines to support long-term business growth.

Meanwhile, the charity also asks the government to reconsider its catch up plans to ensure careers programmes are incorporated, with work experience a serious consideration. Currently, schools are working to Gatsby Benchmarks, which state that by the age of 16, every student should have had at least one workplace experience, additional to any part-time jobs they may have. Speakers for Schools argues this should be the absolute minimum, with every young person given multiple opportunities to ensure they’re experiencing a range of sectors and jobs.

Social mobility app launched to improve job access

The findings were published today after the charity launched a dedicated careers app last week, Youth Card, packed with over 20,000 work experience opportunities, careers guidance, inspirational talks from sector leaders, along with a range of discounts from leading retailers. Spotify, bp and the Bank of England are just a handful of the leading employers already signed up to offer work experience through the app.

Speakers for Schools is partnered with Youth Enterprise, UK Youth and the European Youth Card Association to launch Youth Card in the UK. It is free to download and available to young people in the UK aged 11 to 25.

Businesses can partner with Speakers for Schools to offer work experience through the app. 

Robert Peston, Founder of Speakers for Schools, commented:

“Young people recognise that work experience is a vital part of understanding the world of work, learning about the skills they’ll need and acquiring confidence. We call on all our leaders, in Westminster and business, to help Speakers for Schools in its mission to provide high-quality workplace experiences to as many state school students as possible”.

Andrew Law, Chair of Speakers for Schools, said:

“Young people have been disproportionately affected by the global pandemic, and the coming months and years will be critical in repairing that damage. Our research has highlighted the value that young people place on work experience, but the reality is it is still unattainable to many. We urge more employers to partner with us and consider providing work experience opportunities or careers guidance. Our new Youth Card represents a crucial tool for engaging with young people across the UK of all backgrounds, providing them with life-changing experiences which could determine their future career paths.”

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Advertisers

Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In Jan 2021, FE News had over 173,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector, putting us in the top 2,000 websites in the UK.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.

Podcasts

We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.

Events

FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page